Bicycling the Oregon Coast: Part I

Wow, it has been over a year since my last post, but I finally have a new trip to talk about! We came back from our year abroad and I started a consulting job in San Francisco. After so much time off, I didn’t feel like I needed PTO, but after a year or working, I took my first week of vacation. With Covid disrupting everything, we stayed domestic and planned a self-supported bike trip along the Oregon coast.

My dad suggested this trip around Christmastime, and we picked the last week of August to avoid the rain that we tend to bring everywhere. Our bikes got stolen from a triple-locked room in March, Covid got worse and worse, and Oregon closed their hiker/biker sites that we were planning on using. Nothing was going according to plan, but we weren’t dissuaded.

We bought new bikes that we never let out of our sight and I channeled my project management skills to create a training plan and to find us camping reservations. Hotels still feel like cheating, but restaurants are fully allowed.

Once we got new bikes, we spent twelve weeks training for the ride. I did long weekend rides with midweek runs for cross-training, then added in back-to-back Saturday/Sunday rides to get ready for 8 straight days of riding. My longest ride was 65 miles with an average of 50 miles per weekend. One weekend we rode 100 miles, and another we rode 82 with fully loaded packs. I figured it would be like hiking and that we would get our “bicycle legs” after three days of riding and that general fitness would carry us through. Also, we were training in the Oakland hills, and the Oregon coast had to have easier terrain than riding straight up and down mountains.

My dad co-founded the American River Bike Patrol and trained hard for six months with 30-60 mile rides several times a week. He even strapped 23lbs of dumbells to his bike frame to practice weighted riding. He had to take them off when they started to damage the bike frame.

This is our itinerary:

DayCampgroundMilesElevation Gain (Garmin)
SaturdayNehalem Bay State Park422565
SundayCape Lookout State Park472756
MondaySouth Beach State Park756101
TuesdayJessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park564104
WednesdaySunset Bay State Park593118
ThursdayHumbug Mountain State Park623614
FridayHarris Beach State Park545504
SaturdayDel Norte Coast State Park, CA442128

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